If work orders are part of your daily workflow in order to accomplish tasks in your facility, understanding their intent, significance, and use is crucial when the need arises for their use in facility management.
According to an article written for Purchase Control, understanding how tasks are assigned and completed is extremely important to the efficiency and profitability of a company (DelVecchio).
What is a work order?
A work order is a formal request, either digital or paper, made by various employees and authorized by a manager to complete a specified task in order to accommodate the needs of a business.
These types of requests often fall under the category of facility maintenance and operations (DelVecchio). These forms also often contain agreed-upon timelines and budgetary constraints to be considered along with completion (DelVecchio). Work orders are created by facility management teams to assign and track tasks that need to be completed in their facilities.
For example, a team might complete a work order for fixing a broken piece of equipment in a warehouse. The worker order helps to track the submission and completion. Work orders are used in every facility including warehouses, hospitals, academics, fast-growth facilities like quick-service restaurants and more.
What is the purpose of a work order?
- Explain a specific need such as a repair or installation.
- Delineate a means for communication throughout task completion.
- Track completion of a task along with instructions, supplies, and costs.
- Establish a timeline and allow a task to clearly be assigned and closed.
What is the process of a work order?
- An issue/problem/task is identified.
- A maintenance request is created.
- The completion of the work order is scheduled.
- The work order is assigned and completed by a technician.
What must a technician do in order to complete a work order?
- The technician receives the work order; figures out how to fulfill the request; and then goes about the task.
Figuring out how to complete can take time.
Sometimes the task is simple and routine such as fixing a light bulb. Other times the work order may contain a task that is only done once a year or that the employee has never done before.
In trying to complete the task and or figure out a solution to a problem, the individual may spend hours of non-value added time in the completion process.
- The work order is completed and closed.
In many cases, this is where trouble can arise.
If clear protocols for the assignment of tasks and the communication of processes are not established, tasks can go uncompleted, time can be wasted and frustrations can arise.
Specifically, when facility managers do not have a means for communicating and documenting the completion of a task, jobs can be done twice, money lost, or the individuals who have made the request have no way of knowing if or when their request will be fulfilled.
How do work orders affect profitability?
Work orders impact company profitability in two ways.
First, the time it takes to complete a work order. If work orders are done faster, employees can be more efficient and save the company money.
Second, work orders are often triggered when there’s an issue. If that issue is impacting the operation it could slow or stop production. It’s imperative that technicians have the right tools and information available to them to get the operation moving again.
In what ways can digital tools assist with work order completion?
Up-to-date documentation of the work order process and how an issue was last resolved can eliminate confusion regarding existing tasks and assist with the efficient completion of similar ones in the future. Additionally, when the process is clearly documented, there is accountability and follow-up regarding the completion of a task. efacility helps achieve this by documenting everything and making it available to technicians. Digital tools, especially ones such as efacility which are specifically designed with the users in mind, are user friendly and allow information to be right at the fingertips of technicians.
Setting up a clear work order system and integrating time-saving technology to assist with the process can become a game-changer for many companies that frees up time and saves money.
How do you help your team to complete work orders faster?
efacility helps facility managers to create a digital twin of their facility and document the work order process with blueprints, videos, P&ID, and more.
When facility managers use efacilility they complete more work orders while capturing institutional knowledge of their team. Click here to request a demo.
eFacility provides software for facility managers that need to capture and share institutional knowledge.
eFacility’s patented technology allows technicians to access the documentation necessary to complete a work order from a mobile device.
Geo-based documentation delivery ensures the technician can quickly access the important documentation for only the area of the facility in which they’re standing.
DelVecchio, Lyle. “What Is a Work Order?” PurchaseControl Software, 4 Nov. 2019, www.purchasecontrol.com/blog/what-is-a-works-order/.
“What Is a Work Order?: Work Order Solution.” EMaint CMMS Software, 24 Jan. 2020, www.emaint.com/works/what-is-a-work-order/.